Those lucky enough to touch upcoming Valve VR controllers report noticeably improved finger tracking thanks to a new firmware upgrade.

The change log reports:

Finger Tracking: This update adds logic to detect and adapt to a wider range of hand sizes and finger positions based on their activity over time.

Some developers with prototype controllers have previously reported finger tracking problems. Based on the change log, this appears to be due to the difficulty of supporting a wide range of human hand sizes.

This video from YouTube Bradley Lynch shows a combination of hardware and software improvements from November to today:

Index controllers were known under the code name “Knuckles” during development. The main feature of the model is the ability to completely release the controller, which allows it to more naturally capture and throw virtual objects.

The early prototype was first shown back in 2016. Over the past three years, Valve has continuously improved prototypes. Back in June, the company cut the touchpad to a small band and added a thumb for a better game.

The concept of finger tracking through capacitive sensors was first demonstrated in Oculus Touch controllers at the end of 2016. But while Touch only tracks the thumb and forefinger, Valve controllers track all five. This allows you to significantly expand the range of gestures and should improve the feeling of the presence of hands.

Valve launches its own VR headset for the PC along with these controllers. But since the controllers use the SteamVR “Lighthouse” tracking system, they will also initially work with existing HTC Vive and Vive Pro. This means that if you have one of these headsets, you can pre-order these controllers in May. Valve says they will release them in June.

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Latest Valve Index controller firmware improves finger tracking

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